More on version management...

Graham Klyne gk at
Thu Mar 18 08:35:39 EST 2004

I took a look at the Subversion site [1], and see three features which 
appear to be quite compelling.
Features of Subversion

     * Most current CVS features.
       Subversion is meant to be a better CVS, so it has most of CVS's 
features. Generally, Subversion's interface to a particular feature is 
similar to CVS's, except where there's a compelling reason to do otherwise.

     * Directories, renames, and file meta-data are versioned.
       Lack of these features is one of the most common complaints against 
CVS. Subversion versions not only file contents and file existence, but 
also directories, copies, and renames. It also allows arbitrary metadata 
("properties") to be versioned along with any file or directory, and 
provides a mechanism for versioning the `execute' permission flag on files.

     * Apache network server option, with WebDAV/DeltaV protocol.
       Subversion can use the HTTP-based WebDAV/DeltaV protocol for network 
communications, and the Apache web server to provide repository-side 
network service. This gives Subversion an advantage over CVS in 
interoperability, and provides various key features for free: 
authentication, path-based authorization, wire compression, and basic 
repository browsing.

I've recently realized that directory moving and renaming is a pain with CVS.

I also think that support for an open standard protocol (WebDAV) is, in the 
longer term, a real win because it should mean greater client availability 
across different platforms.

The choice of staying close to CVS except where there's a reason not to 
will hopefully ameliorate the learning-curve concerns.

Just a datum.



Graham Klyne
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